In a world in which technology increasingly talks back, whether it’s our wellness trackers pushing us towards our exercise goals, customer service chatbots answering our personal banking queries or Alexa reminding us of our to-do lists, there is a growing need to ensure that artificial intelligence is designed with reciprocal conversation in mind.

For financial institutions in particular there is huge opportunity for growth in the field of chatbot dialogue design, as Clifford Chance Applied Solutions learned at the Digital Leadership Forum this month. As chatbot responses grow ever more realistic and conversational - with improvements in the key areas of personality, natural language, empathy, helpfulness and persuasiveness - users receive an enhanced customer experience that goes a long way towards engendering long term consumer trust.

Using chatbots is essential to gathering customer transactional history through live customer interaction and as chatbots begin to respond more naturally to context, intent, tone and language subtleties, rather than being limited to answering pre-defined questions, the ability for firms to motivate customers into action while seamlessly communicating their brand and reputation is a major competitive advantage.

As artificial intelligence and machine learning software tool providers focus on adding such personalised communication capabilities to our every day interactions with technology, it is crucial that firms are transparent about whether the customer is dealing with artificial intelligence or human personnel. Once this hurdle is addressed, conversation may well prove the catalyst for innovation.